Monthly Archive 2011

Review June 2013

Gun Deaths

 

At least one life was taken by a firearm in England, Scotland and Wales during June. The victim, an elderly man, a gun owner from Blackpool, Lancashire apparently used his licensedshotgun to take his own life. 

 

In another case a 64-year-old woman has been questioned by police after claiming to have shot and buried a farmer who had raped her in Buxton, Derbyshire in 1976.

 

 

Inquests

 

There were at least two Inquests completed during June. A 47-year-old farmer from Market Lavington, Wiltshire was found to have shot his ailing dog before taking his own life with a shotgun. A 16-year-old school boy from Cobham, Kent, was found to have taken his own life with alicensedshotgun given to him by his family for his 15th birthday. The boy had recently been spoken to by the police regarding text messages of a sexual nature sent to a girl.

 

 

Sentences and Convictions

 

Four men have been found guilty of manslaughter of a 21-year-old man during a drugs related planned burglary in Bournemouth, Dorset. Michael Chudley, 63, has been jailed for 28 years for the murder of a 58-year-old solicitor in Devizes, Wiltshire. Daniel Bidace, 30, has been jailed for a minimum of 42 years for the murder of a man and shooting his fiancée in Ealing, West London. Dale Cregan has been jailed for life after pleading guilty to the shooting and grenade murders of two female police officers and a father and son in Greater Manchester. 

 

 

Assaults causing Fear and Non-Fatal Injury

 

Most firearms assaults in England involve guns being used to threaten individuals, usually for the sake of robbery, while the fear of gunfire is also evident when citizens call police to report gun shots. Guns used to threaten people in the UK are usually identified as an 'imitation gun' or as unidentifiable, since it's difficult to distinguish - especially for witnesses and victims of gun violence.

 

The chart below shows data compiled from new incidents and rulings from gun incidents in England, Scotland and Wales reported in British newspapers from June 2012 to June 2013:

 

 

 

 

As the graph demonstrates, many robberies and assaults take place with imitations and BB guns, which may not contain bullets but perpetrators capitalise on the fear of victims who believe they are about to be shot. This traumatic experience is more common in England, Scotland and Wales than non-fatal shooting.

 

Although imitations and airguns are legal in Britain, they are responsible for many of the gun injuries, to both humans and animals.

 

 

Animal Cruelty

 

There were at least two incidents resulting in death, including one cat and several herring gulls. At least thirteen other incidents caused injury to nine cats, a horse, a magpie, and eighteen herring gulls following an official cull in Cumbria. Armed police were also called when builders were found to be shooting at pigeons in Morden, south London.

 

In many armed robberies and assaults in Britain resulting in severe injury the perpetrator clubs, or 'pistol-whips,' the victim, using an 'unknown' or imitation firearm.

 

The chart below again shows data compiled from new incidents and rulings from gun incidents reported in British newspapers, this time displaying incidents causing injury:

 

 

 

 

Ultimately, legally-obtained guns in every country tend to find their way into the wrong hands, whether it's through theft, or simply the wrong people being given a license

 

We are concerned about the criminal use of shotguns (licensed to unsafe individuals or stolen), airguns (low-powered guns are legal and high-powered guns can be licensed) and realistic imitation guns (legal to possess but not to trade/manufacture). We will compile a month-by-month table to document the number of new incidents involving these weapons, as well as 'unknown' weapons for the reasons listed above.

 

 

New Incidents by Month

 

 JunJulAugSepOctNovDecJanFebMarAprMayJun
Shotgun 10912912151111141512713
Airgun  18232719251212102222272329
Imitation   1511116111251412139915
Unknown 31304829515239464149323633

  *This table counts new gun incidents in England, Scotland and Wales reported in

British newspapers from June 2012 to June 2013.

 

 

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SUMMARY

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2012 

Gun Deaths

At least 6 people's lives were taken by firearms in England, Scotland and Wales during October and November. A further 2 convictions were handed down for charges related to gun homicide during those two months, one in Addiscombe, south London, the other in Furneux Pelham, Hertfordshire. 

 

One homicide took place during October in Wath-on-Dearne as a result of what police believe was a targeted gun attack in September. Two homicides took place during November: a man was shot in a car in Wavertree, Merseyside and another man was found collapsed on the road in Bilborough, Nottingham and later died in hospital from gun-related injuries.

 

There was another firearms death in October in which a man was found dead with gunshot wounds to the head in a property in Huyton, Merseyside. Police recovered drugs and firearms were recovered from the property, an inquest was opened and adjourned. There were two other gun deaths in November: a 60-year-old man was found dead in a hotel car park in Titchwell, Norfolk and a police officer was found dead at a police station in Glasgow, Strathclyde, after having apparently taken his own life using his police firearm. All the victims were men.

 

At least six inquests were also conducted in October and November. Two in October resulted in one suicide verdict on a farmer who took his own life with a shotgun two days after the death of his father. The second inquest returned a narrative verdict in the case of the death in police custody of a grandfather following the use of pepper spray during his arrest. Four police officers are set to face misconduct proceedings. In November, a County Durham an inquest recorded that a man had shot his mother before killing himself with an unregistered shotgun A suicide verdict was recorded in Caerhays, Cornwall on a 54-year-old man who also took his life with a shotgun A 31-year-old man from Luton, Berkshire was found to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after sixteen hours of negotiations with armed police. An open verdict was recorded in the case of a man, with a known history of substance abuse and who had expressed an intention to harm himself, who was found dead in Laisterdyke, West Yorkshire with a shotgun wound to the head.

 

 

Assaults Causing Fear and Non-Fatal Injury

 

Most firearms assaults in England involve guns being used to threaten individuals, usually for the sake of robbery, while the fear of gunfire is also evident when citizens call police to report gun shots. Guns used to threaten people in the UK are usually identified as an 'imitation gun' or as unidentifiable, since it's difficult to distinguish - especially for witnesses and victims of gun violence.

 

The chart below shows data compiled from new incidents and rulings from gun incidents in England, Scotland and Wales reported in British newspapers from January to November 2012.

 

 

As the graph demonstrates, many robberies take place with guns that may not contain bullets - yet the fear they instill is, of course, considerable and undeniable.

 

Although imitation and airguns are legal in Britain, such guns are also responsible for many of the gun injuries, to both humans and animals. Airguns are used with ruthless frequency to attack animals. At least 13 incidents resulting in deaths and 18 resulting in injury were recorded during October and November. A golden eagle was injured with a shotgun in October in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. A cat and a pregnant deer were killed with what was believed to have been a rifle on an allotment in Anlaby, East Yorkshire. The deer and her unborn fawn were left to bleed to death. A buzzard had to be put down after being injured with a shotgun in Lathom, Lancashire. A number of lambs have been killed and injured with appeared to have been a rifle at a farm in Ravensglass, Cumbria. 

 

In many assaults in Britain that result in severe injury, the armed individual clubs or 'pistol-whips' the victim. These are frequently imitation firearms, but the perpetrator is able to capitalise on the fear of a victim who is facing imminent danger of being shot. In fact, this traumatic experience is more common in England, Scotland and Wales than non-fatal shootings.

 

The chart below again shows data compiled from new incidents and rulings from gun incidents reported in British newspapers, this time displaying incidents causing injury:

 

 

 

The table below documents the number of new incidents involving shotguns, airguns, imitation guns and unknown weapons.

 

New Incidents by Month

 

    JanFebMarAprilMayJuneJulyAugSeptOctNov
Shotgun18191616111091291215
Airgun1618252734182327192512
Imitation7141716915111161112
Unknown4438454246153048295152

 

*This table counts new gun incidents in England, Scotland and Wales reported in British newspapers from January to November 2012.


MARCH 2012

Gun Deaths - At least two people's lives were taken by a firearm in England, Scotland and Wales during March, while another man is in a coma after being shot. A further 12 convictions were handed for charges related to gun homicide during the month, and a series of inquests revealed facts about recent gun deaths.

There were no reports of gun homicide during March, although a victim is in hospital in a coma after being shot in Isle of Dogs, London's finance district.

Police shot and killed a man during a planned operation in Culcheth, Cheshire; the other death was due to apparent suicide in Edinburgh.

A series of inquests were also completed during the month, including that of a police officer who committed suicide in Merseyside.  Inquests also heard members of the public took their own lives in Carsington Water, Derbyshire; Burnley, Lancashire; Bishops Offley, Staffordshire; and Eastbourne, East Sussex. The weapon in all cases except the Burnley suicide was confirmed to be a shotgun.

Murder convictions were handed to a trio in Liverpool; to a man in Leeds; to a trio in north London; and to another trio in Fife, Scotland. In the first two cases the murder weapon was confirmed to be a sawn-off shotgun.

Two men were also jailed after they accidentally shot and killed people close to them. One man pleaded guilty to culpable homicide after killing a family friend in Paisley, Scotland; and another was convicted of manslaughter after shooting his friend in the chest. Both of these accidents involved young men firing shotguns.

Altogether, a shotgun was the lethal weapon used in at least eight of the 12 confirmed deaths listed above.

Assaults causing Fear and non-fatal Injury

Most firearms assaults in England involve guns being used to threaten individuals, usually for the sake of robbery, while the fear of gunfire is also evident when citizens call police to report gun shots. Guns used to threaten people in the UK are usually identified as an 'imitation gun' or as unidentifiable, since it's difficult to distinguish -- especially for witnesses and victims of gun violence.

 

 

 

 

Data of incidents causing fear is compiled from new incidents and rulings from gun incidents in England, Scotland and Wales reported in British newspapers fromJune 2011 to March 2012 (data not available for August and December 2011):

 

 

As the graph demonstrates, many robberies take place with guns that may not contain bullets -- yet the fear they instill is considerable and undeniable. 

 

Although imitation and airguns are legal in Britain, such guns are also responsible for many of the gun injuries, to both humans and animals. Airguns are used with ruthless frequency to attack animals, including at least seven incidents resulting in death and 11  resulting in injury during March. 
 

 

In many assaults in Britain that result in severe injury, the armed individual clubs, or 'pistol-whips,' the victim. These are frequently imitation firearms, but the perpetrator is able to capitalise on the fear of a victim who is facing imminent danger of being shot. This traumatic experience is more common in England, Scotland and Wales than non-fatal shootings.

 

 

 

 

This table of incidents causing non fatal injury iscompiled from new incidents and rulings from gun incidents reported in British newspapers from June 2011 to March 2012 (data not available for August and December):

 

 
Especially concerning are the use of shotguns, airguns and realistic imitation guns (legal to possess but not to trade/manufacture).

 

 

New Incidents by Month

 

 

June

JulySeptOctNovJanFeb

Mar 

Shotgun1910151710181916
Airgun2830212716161825
Imitation gun13171318871417
Unknown4056554039443845

*Table of new gun incidents in England, Scotland and Wales reported in British newspapers from June 2011 to March 2012 (data not available for August and December 2011)


2012 - FEBRUARY REVIEW

Gun Deaths - At least two people's lives were taken by a firearm in England, Scotland and Wales during February, and at least two more men died after altercations with armed police. A further three convictions were handed for charges related to gun homicide during the two months

The only apparent gun homicide took place in Turnpike Lane, north London where the victim was allegedly shot with a handgun.

A man was found dead due to apparent suicide in Norfolk, while an inquest this month confirmed an earlier suicide in Lincolnshire. Both men used shotguns to kill themselves.

Murder convictions were handed to a man who was been jailed for life for shooting and killing two men in Cornwall, and to a trio of perpetrators (two men and one woman) who murdered a man in West Midlands with a shotgun.

Assaults causing Fear and non-fatal Injury

Most firearms assaults in England involve guns being used to threaten individuals, usually for the sake of robbery, while the fear of gunfire is also evident when citizens call police to report gun shots. Guns used to threaten people in the UK are usually identified as an 'imitation gun' or as unidentifiable, since it's difficult to distinguish -- especially for witnesses and victims of gun violence.

Although imitation and airguns are legal in Britain, such guns are also responsible for many of the gun injuries, to both humans and animals. Airguns are used with ruthless frequency to attack animals, including at least five incidents resulting in death and six times resulting in injury during February.

In many assaults in Britain involving a gun that result in severe injury, the armed individual clubs, or 'pistol-whips,' the victim. These are frequently imitation firearms, but the perpetrator is able to capitalise on the fear of a victim who is facing imminent danger of being shot. In fact, this traumatic experience is more common in England, Scotland and Wales than non-fatal

 

SUMMARY JANUARY 2012

Gun Deaths - At least seven people's lives were taken by a firearm in England, Scotland and Wales during January, and at least two more lives were taken in December. A further nine convictions were handed for charges related to gun homicide during the two months. 

In January, a 13-year-old boy apparently killed himself with an airgun in Souldern, Oxfordshire.

In Horden, County Durham, a man who was a licensed gun owner with a known history of domestic violence and common assault, shot and killed three women in a domestic murder/suicide tragedy before turning the gun on himself.

Also during the month, a 22-year-old man was shot and killed in Clerkenwell, central London; and a man was shot, decapitated and set on fire in Stockport, Manchester.

Further tragedies took place in December in Paisley, Scotland where a 21-year-old man was shot and killed; and in Salford, Manchester where a 23-year-old student was murdered in what police believe was a racist hate crime.

Murder convictions in December were handed to a 19-year-old who murdered another teenager in Peckham, south London; a man and his uncle who murdered two men in Islington, north London; a man who shot his victim while on a motor bike in south London; a man who murdered a 16-year-old in Manchester before fleeing the country; and a man who killed two people in Chigwell, Essex before also fleeing the UK. An additional man was jailed for possessing a firearm that was used in another murder in south London.

In January, a man was sentenced for murder in Chester while his girlfriend was convicted of manslaughter; and a man was jailed after murdering a man in St. Osyth, Essex.

Assaults causing Fear and non-fatal Injury

Most firearms assaults in England involve guns being used to threaten individuals, usually for the sake of robbery, while the fear of gunfire is also evident when citizens call police to report gun shots. Guns used to threaten people in the UK are usually identified as an 'imitation gun' or as unidentifiable, since it's difficult to distinguish -- especially for witnesses and victims of gun violence.

Many robberies take place with guns that may not contain bullets -- yet the fear they instill is considerable and undeniable.

Imitation guns and most airguns do not require a licence but they are responsible for many gun injuries, to both humans and animals. Airguns are used with ruthless frequency to attack animals, including at least one incidents resulting in death and six resulting in injury during January.

In many assaults in Britain involving a gun that result in severe injury, the armed individual clubs, or 'pistol-whips,' the victim. These are frequently imitation firearms, but the perpetrator is able to capitalise on the fear of a victim who is facing imminent danger of being shot. In fact, this traumatic experience is more common in England, Scotland and Wales than non-fatal shootings.

We remain concerned about the number of crimes committed by licensed gun owners,  including murder, murder suicide and domestic violence;

The criminal use of  air guns (low-powered guns which do not require a licence despite their lethality:  

The number of armed robberies and other crimes committed by those carrying realistic imitation guns (legal to possess but not to trade/manufacture) and the effects of these incidents on victims, their families, friends and the safety and well-being of communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 2011 SUMMARY

Gun Deaths - At least three people's lives were taken by a firearm in England, Scotland and Wales during October. A further seven convictions were handed for charges related to gun homicide during the month. Click to view Gun Deaths.

In the past month, men were shot and killed in Nottinghamshire and south London, while a woman shot and killed herself in Somerset. Jail sentences were handed to a man who drunkenly shot his best friend in North Lanarkshire, Scotland; to a 23-year-old in Chester who borrowed his father's legal shotgun; to a pair of men who were involved in a drugs conspiracy in East Lancashire, to another pair in south London in another drugs feud; and to another south London man who shot and killed an intruder at his home.

Assaults causing Fear and Injury

Most firearms assaults in England involve guns being used to threaten individuals, usually for the sake of robbery, while the fear of gunfire is also evident when citizens call police to report gun shots. Guns used to threaten people in the UK are usually identified as an 'imitation gun' (see explanation) or as unidentifiable, since it's difficult to distinguish -- especially for witnesses and victims of gun violence.  many robberies take place with guns that may not contain bullets -- yet the fear they instill is, of course, considerable and undeniable.

Although imitation and air guns are legal in Britain, such guns are also responsible for many of the gun injuries, to both humans and animals. Air guns are used with ruthless frequency to attack animals, including at least two incidents resulting in death and nine times resulting in injury during November.

In most assaults in Britain involving a gun that result in injury, the armed individual clubs, or 'pistol-whips,' the victim. These are frequently imitation firearms, but the perpetrator is able to capitalise on the fear of a victim who is facing imminent danger of being shot. In fact, this traumatic experience is more common in England, Scotland and Wales than non-fatal shootings.

SEPTEMBER AND AUGUST 2011

Gun Deaths

At least six people's lives were taken by a firearm in England, Scotland and Wales during September and at least a further five in August. A further five convictions were handed for gun murder in September and at least three more took place in August. 
 

In the past two months, men were shot and killed in West Sussex, Liverpool, Kent, Manchester, north London, and twice in south London. A woman was shot and killed in Devon in an apparent case of domestic violence. Two men reportedly took their own lives with firearms in Northamptonshire and north Yorkshire. Several convictions were handed down by courts, with men being found guilty of killing 11 total people in Edinburgh, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Hertfordshire, and two separate cases in east London. A woman was also found guilty of murdering her partner in a rural town near Norfolk.
 

Assaults causing Fear and Injury

 
Most firearms assaults in England involve guns being used to threaten individuals, usually for the sake of robbery, while the fear of gunfire is also evident when citizens call police to report gun shots. Guns used to threaten people in the UK are usually identified as an 'imitation gun'or as unidentifiable, since it's difficult to distinguish -- especially for witnesses and victims of gun violence.

 

Although imitation and air guns are legal in Britain, such guns are also responsible for many of the gun injuries, to both humans and animals. Air guns are used with ruthless frequency to attack animals, including at least 4 incidents resulting in death and 9 times resulting in injury during September.

 

In most assaults in Britain involving a gun that result in injury, the armed individual clubs, or 'pistol-whips,' the victim. These are frequently imitation firearms, but the perpetrator is able to capitalise on the fear of a victim who is facing imminent danger of being shot. In fact, this traumatic experience is more common in England, Scotland and Wales than non-fatal shootings. We note a trend of increased summer gun crime that is consistent year-by-year in the UK, and this may be attributable to increased social activity of young people. Unfortunately, most gun crime in England Scotland and Wales involves people between 16 and 30 years old and it almost always involves males exclusively. 

June 2011
 
Gun Deaths - At least 12 people were murdered in Britain in June.


A summary of the reported murders:

 A man was shot and killed in Stockwell, south London. The victim was gunned down as a motorcycle carrying two men approached him.
 
 Two young men aged 18 and 19 were killed in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. The pair were reportedly shot in the head at close range by hand guns.
 
 A mother and her two-year-old daughter were shot and killed in Braintree, Essex. The woman was reportedly involved in a custody dispute over her daughter with the murder suspect, who turned the gun on himself but didn't die. He was arrested in the hospital.
 
 A young man aged 18 years was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Tulse Hill, south London.
 
 A man was shot and killed in Manchester while sitting in a parked car.
 
 A man was shot and killed in Stratton Strawless, Norfolk. His body was found at an animal shelter with bullet wounds, and police arrested a woman who was previously in a relationship with the victim.
 
 A man was shot and left dead in the street in West Dulwich, south London.
 
 And three men apparently took their own lives with guns, in Taunton, Somerset, in Melton Constable and in Cambridge.
 
Air guns - There were once again several reported incidents involving potentially fatal air guns. These often consisted of legally owned air weapons being used to terrorise other individuals or animals.

We located and reported 44 shootings or assaults with either a shotgun, handgun or air gun. This includes all fatal shootings, hold-ups and animal shootings which police indicated involved one of those types of gun. In 24 of those incidents (55%), an air gun was the weapon used, not an illegal handgun or shotgun.
 

 

 

 

 The recorded incidents involving an air gun included:

 Two shootings resulting in severe injury, including one in Nottingham and another in Hull.
 
 Two cases of threats by pointing a gun at someone, in Devon and in Gwynedd, while another two previous gunmen were jailed -- a drink-driver in Staffordshire and a 21-year-old in Wick who threatened to shoot the mother of his child.
 
 Air guns were also used in 18 incidents to kill and injure animals, resulting in death on eight occasions. These incidents included four pet cats, a rare peregrine falcon, a buzzard, and two swans, with one's shooting resulting in the death of at least three cygnets and eggs. 

 
Imitation and BB guns - People across the United Kingdom continue to be victimised by realistic imitation firearms, which are legal and frequently the gun of choice for armed robbers. The weapons are terrifying to victims who constantly assert they fear for their life when assaulted by someone with an imitation gun. They are also commonly used by an attacker to pistol-whip a victim, usually leaving the person with significant head injuries.
 
Since these guns are legal, it's no surprise they appear most often in armed assaults. It also indicates that in a majority of cases in which the gun is not identified, it's likely the perpetrator was using an imitation gun.
 
We located 53 total incidents this month involving a person assaulting another, including both new incidents and jail sentences handed down for previous incidents. This includes all incidents in which fear was a very severe consequence of the attack but a gun wasn't actually fired. From those 53, the perpetrator used an imitation gun or an unknown weapon in 36 (68%) of the cases.
 

 


 

2011 - MAY REVIEW
 
See the Full List of Incidents
 
Gun Deaths and Injuries

At least nine people were murdered in Britain in the month of May and two weeks preceding it; a further seven shootings could have seen the total increased.
A summary of the reported murders:
 A man was reportedly beaten, shot three times and pistol whipped in Brixton, south London.
 
 A man and a woman were shot in the head in Norfolk and died immediately.
 
 A man was murdered in his car in Shepherd's Bush, west London, with two teenagers arrested for the crime.
 
 A man was shot off of his bicycle and killed in Tower Hamlets, east London, in an incident police said they didn't think was targeted.
 
 A man was shot and killed in Craigneuk, north of Glasgow, with an arrest made within the week.
 
 A man died from a bullet wound to the stomach in Colchester which police believe was self-inflicted.
 
 Another man died in Norwich in a second case police believe was suicide.
 
 The final case proved the threat of legal imitation guns, as a pensioner in West Bromwich died from a heart attack after someone broke into his home. The suspect arrested was armed with an imitation gun  and charged with manslaughter and aggravated burglary.
All seven of the further gunshot victims were men, with the other shootings taking place in Newcastle, Sheffield, Essex, Nottingham, Liverpool, outside Glasgow and two in east London.
Air guns - There were several reported incidents involving potentially fatal air guns. The most common use of air guns involved teenagers shooting one another or adults using the weapons to threaten others.
A summary of these incidents:
 Teenage victims were shot with air gun pellets on at least five occasions: a 13-year-old boy in Sussex, a 15-year-old in East Yorkshire, a 17-year-old in North Yorkshire, and two teens aged 13 and 15 in Leicestershire. Although all of these attacks resulted in wounds, none were fatal.
 
 Two men took a reported neighbours' dispute too far when they threatened a pair of teenage girls with two air rifles. They were both arrested and charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence.
 
 Two men were jailed after using air guns in prior months for vicious means. Robert Vallily, who produced an air rifle for its threatening menace and then used the butt of the weapon to beat a neighbour in Middlesbrough, received two years and six months. Kelvin Roberts received three years and nine months after using an air rifle to threaten to shoot police in north Wales.
 
 Further shootings with air guns took place in Telford and North Yorkshire, with no injuries.
 
 Police made arrests in West Sussex and Newport in response to armed threats related to air guns, while they recovered an air rifle along with drugs, knives, money and suspected stolen property in a raid on a house in Preston.
 
Imitation and BB guns - In addition to the elderly man who died of a heart attack when he was robbed at gun point by an imitation weapon (see above Gun Deaths and Injuries section), at least a further 10 victims faced the barrel of an imitation weapon in the six weeks leading up to 1 June. Meanwhile, victims of all ages were targeted by BB pellets, which are not as life-threatening as air gun assaults but can be similarly terrifying.
A summary of incidents involving imitation and BB guns:
 Armed with imitation guns, assailants robbed a supermarket in Burnley, three individuals in Leicester, a man in Lincoln, bookmakers in Kent, and two female paramedics in Northamptonshire that were trying to assist a man under heavy drug influence.
 Three BB gun shootings involving apparently random victims of all ages: a boy aged 14 was shot in the face in Derbyshire in a drive-by shooting as he was cycling, an adult male was shot several times in the leg as he had his wallet stolen in Worcestershire, and a female pensioner was shot in the face by two teenagers in Swindon.
 
 Meanwhile, the issue of legal guns in the wrong hands was raised by two incidents: two replica guns were stolen along with knives, daggers and swords from a house in Plymouth, and an 11-year-old boy in West Sussex sparked an armed police operation when he was spotted with 'a handgun,' which turned out to be a BB gun.
 
Vulnerable Targets - Perhaps the most unnerving incident involved a shooting on a crowd leaving an Easter Sunday church service in Brixton, south London. Two men apparently opened fire on the group with up to 10 shots, but no one was injured. Three men have been arrested following the attack.
 

 

 

MARCH 2011 - SUMMARY

Gun Deaths and Injuries

There were six shooting fatalities during March. Four men were victims of apparent homicides: o Cheshire (1) - the body of a man who had been shot and stabbed was found in a car in Blacon (Chester) (two people have been charged with murder) o South Yorkshire (1) - a man was killed in his bed in Worsbrough by a shot to the head (one man has been charged with murder) o Suffolk (2) - two men were found with fatal gunshot wounds at a traveller site in Beck Row (two men are on police bail after being arrested in connection with the murders) A teenager died from gunshot wounds in Wolverhampton - police suspect that the shot that killed him may have been fired by accident. One shooting was apparently self-inflicted - a man was found dead in a car in St Helens (Merseyside) with a shotgun wound to his head.

Thirty-eight other victims were shot during March, more than half of them with airguns and imitation weapons (including paintball guns) (see below). o Buckinghamshire (1) - a 14-year-old boy was shot with a shotgun at his home in High Wycombe (a man has been arrested) o Greater Manchester (1) - a man was shot in the thigh in Blackley (three men have been charged with attempted murder and one of them with possession of a firearm) o London (5) - a man travelled on a Tube train from Harlesden to Willesden after being shot in the back with what was believed to have been a shotgun, a man was shot and wounded in the arm in Tulse Hill, a teenager suffered an injury to his arm in Walthamstow, and a 5-year-old girl and a man were seriously injured in a shooting at a shop in Stockwell (a 19- year-old has been arrested) o Merseyside (4) - a man was found in Norris Green with around 70 pellet wounds to his back (an 18-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of wounding), a gang shot a man at a house in Prescot whilst demanding money, a man was shot in the leg in a street attack in Fazakerley, and another victim was shot in the leg while out walking at an unknown location o Nottinghamshire (2) - a man was shot in the leg in Radford (one man has been charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a firearm with intent), and another victim was hit in the leg in Mapperley Park (a man has been charged with possession of a shotgun without a certificate and possession of a shotgun when prohibited for life) o Scotland (3) - two men were shot in Glasgow, one in Carntyne in an attempted murder and another in Sighthill, and a third male victim was shot in a "targeted" attack in Linwood (Renfrewshire) o West Midlands (1) - a man suffered minor injuries when a gun was fired in a street in Tividale


Another 13 people, including women and teenagers, were hit by pellets from BB guns and airguns, and at least 8 people were hit by paintball pellets: o Greater Manchester (2) - one person was hit in the stomach by a paintball pellet in Leigh and another in the back in Golborne during five paintball attacks in the area in which three other people were targeted (two men were arrested on suspicion of assault and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence) o Lancashire (1) - a worker at a jewellers in Tarleton (Lancashire) was shot with what was described as a ball-bearing air rifle during an attempted robbery (see below) o Merseyside (2) - two men were injured when airgun shots were fired at passers-by in Wallasey (two teenagers were arrested on suspicion of wounding and two others on suspicion of obstructing police) o North Yorkshire (1) - a teacher was shot in the back with an air rifle by a pupil at a school in Leyburn o Suffolk (1) - a 17-year-old was hit in the neck with an airgun pellet in Lowestoft o Sussex (8) - an elderly woman was shot in the knee with an air rifle in Hastings (a man has been arrested), in a separate incident in Hastings six people including teenagers and women were hit by air rifle pellets (three young men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of firearms offences and actual bodily harm), and a teenage girl was hit in the chest with five pellets from a BB gun in East Grinstead o Teesside (6) - six children were hit by paintballs fired from a vehicle in Marske and Redcar - one victim suffered bruising to the side of her face


Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults

There were robberies and attempted robberies allegedly involving guns at Banks and Post Offices (6) in Weymouth (Dorset) (a rifle and air rifle were later recovered and a man has been charged with a nnumber of offences), Devizes (Wiltshire) (imitation handgun; two men have been arrested in connection with this and an earlier robbery in Corsham), Basildon (Essex) (handgun), Loughton and Debden (Essex) (pistol), and Oldbury (West Midlands), Bookmakers (3) in Stonydelph (Staffordshire) (shotgun type weapon; 2 days later a shop in the area was raided), Ewell (Surrey) (revolver), and Glasgow, a Petrol Station (1) in Fernhill (Glasgow) (a taxi driver was forced at gunpoint to be a getaway driver), and Shops (15) in Brighton (a man has been charged with attempted robbery and possessing an offensive weapon - a stun gun was found), Wolverhampton (handgun), Stonydelph (Staffordshire) (2 days after a raid on a bookmakers in the area), Bournemouth (Dorset) (two separate raids; a man has been arrested for the first of these, a handgun was used in the second), Lancaster(handgun), Aspley (Nottingham), Portsmouth, Tarleton (Lancashire) (ball-bearing air rifle; a worker was shot - see above), Edgware (north west London), Beeston (Nottingham) and Hugglescote (Leicestershire) (imitation firearm; two men have been charged over the first robbery and one of them for the second), Hamstead (Birmingham; the shopkeeper was pistol-whipped), Ashton-in-Makerfield (Greater Manchester) (stun gun), and Aberdeen (one man has been arrested).


There were armed raids on Homes in Potters Bar(Hertfordshire) (the gang told the homeowners they had a gun), Torquay (involving a Taser-like gadget - nothing was stolen but the occupants were assaulted), Cutteslowe (Oxford) (three men armed with a gun and machete demanded money), Prescot (Merseyside) (a man was shot with a shotgun by a gang who demanded cash - see above), Whalley Range (Greater Manchester) (a man armed with a handgun stole a number of items and cash), and Brighton (a victim was hit on the head with what is believed to have been a gun).


Guns were used in Street robberies in Comberton(Cambridgeshire) where a girl was forced to undress by a cyclist who threatened to shoot her (no gun was seen) and tried to rob her of her underwear, Fulwood (Lancashire) where a teenager had a gun put to his head during a robbery, Witney (Oxfordshire) where another teenager was attacked by three men (one man has been charged with kidnap, robbery and possession of an imitation firearm), Oxford where a woman had her handbag, phone and sunglasses stolen (two teenagers were arrested and an imitation firearm recovered), and a park in Birstall (Leicester) (two men threatened the victim with what was believed to be an airgun).


A Taxi Driver was robbed by someone with an imitation firearm in Penarth (Glamorgan). A Security Worker suffered minor injuries during a robbery by two men armed with a handgun and knife on a post office van in Laisterdyke (Bradford) (two women and a teenage boy have been arrested) and two others were threatened with a gun during a robbery at a cashpoint in South Harrow (north west London).

Other Incidents

Shots were fired during a number of other incidents. In a number of incidents Houses were damaged, in many cases with a shotgun: o Bedfordshire - a house was damaged by gunshots in Farley Hill (Luton) (two men were charged with possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life and two related charges) o Berkshire - the front door of a house in Bullbrook (Bracknell) was damaged with what was thought to be a shotgun o Lancashire - a house window was shattered by a probable gunshot in Banks o Merseyside - a door of a house in Aigburth Vale was damaged by a gunman, another house was targeted with a shotgun in Sutton, and a third house was damaged with a shotgun in Netherton (two men have been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage using a firearm) o Teesside - a gun was fired at a home in Grangetown o West Midlands - a house window was damaged by gunshots in Dudley o West Yorkshire - a shot was fired from a shotgun at a house in Marshfields (Bradford), damaging a window and door, and a car was also damaged in the area, and in a separate incident in Bradford shots were fired at a house in Girlington (a man was arrested)


Other incidents involving gunshots occurred in: o Hertfordshire - local residents have called for a car park in Watford to be closed after a range of problems including alleged gunshots o Scotland - a gunman opened fire with a shotgun on a pub in Renfrew o South Yorkshire - a man burst into a wedding reception in Meadowhead (Sheffield) and started firing a gun (one man has been charged with possession a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of a prohibited weapon, and another has been charged with possessing a handgun with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence) There were reports of gunshots in Walton (Liverpool) but no evidence was found of a shooting.


There were further incidents involving shotguns: o Greater Manchester - a suspect was arrested after a victim was threatened with a sawn-off shotgun in Salford o Kent - another man was charged with possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life after an incident in Folkestone o Lancashire - five men were arrested following a stand-off with police in Burnley (Lancashire) after an incident believed to involve a shotgun and reports of a man being held hostage. o Somerset - a man from Weston Village has been charged with using another to look after, hide or transport a firearm, possession of a firearm to cause fear of violence and possessing a shotgun when prohibited for 5 years - he is accused of threatening another man with a shotgun.

A police officer was threatened with a gun in Hove (Sussex) by one of three men. A man was charged with blackmail after reports that a man had been seen with a gun in Penarth (Glamorgan). Firearms officers went to a domestic incident in Towyn (Conwy), but the police refused to confirm if a firearm was recovered.


Airguns and Imitation Guns

Besides those incidents which resulted in injury (see above) there were many other incidents involving airguns and imitation weapons. They were probably used in many of the armed robberies and this was certainly so in incidents in Tarleton (Lancashire), Hugglescote and Birstall(Leicestershire), Witney and Oxford (Oxfordshire), Beeston (Nottingham), Devizes (Wiltshire), and Penarth (Glamorgan)


Also this month suspects were charged with offences connected to earlier incidents involving imitation guns, two men in connection with an attempted robbery at a bank in Stratford-upon-Avon (Warwickshire), and two others appeared in court in Leeds charged with possession of an imitation firearm, burglary and fraudulent use of a vehicle.


There were further incidents involving imitation weapons which caused alarm: o Two 18-year-olds were caught firing BB guns at one another among shoppers in Peterborough prompting police to advise the owners of a shop about the sale of guns o A man dressed as a Mexican sparked a major alert on Walney Island (Cumbria) when he was spotted with a gun, later found to be a plastic gun - he was fined £80 by police o A man from Devonport (Devon) has been charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause his ex-girlfriend to believe that violence would be used against her or another after he allegedly put an air pistol to her stomach o A man has been charged with possessing an imitation firearm after someone pointed a gun at a receptionist in the Citizens Advice office in St Leonards (East Sussex) o A man was arrested in Aston Clinton (Buckinghamshire) on suspicion of firearm offences after an air weapon was seized o A man was arrested in Stoke-on Trent after an air rifle was fired at members of the public from a bedroom window. An airgun was recovered by police responding to reports that a man carrying a gun was threatening to kill himself in Eltham (south east London) (a man was arrested by released without charge). An airgun pellet was reported to have smashed the window of a fire engine in Hamilton (South Lanarkshire).


Guns Recoveries and Thefts - Guns were found during searches in which drugs were recovered in Runnymede, Egham and Chertsey (Surrey) (four men have been arrested), Wootton (Oxfordshire) (one man was arrested), Redditch (Worcestershire) (imitation firearm; two youths were arrested), Greenwich (south east London), South Oxhey (Hertfordshire) (a man was been charged with possession of a firearm) and Kensington (Liverpool) (a man was arrested). A handgun and stun gun were also recovered during a series of police raids across Merseyside which resulted in 10 people being arrested. In Norfolk, 15 guns were seized by armed police from the home of a firearms dealer in Walcott, and a shotgun was discovered during the search of a house in Eaton (Norwich). A blank-firing gun was found on an estate in Roehampton (south west London) during a weapons sweep. An 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation gun after anti-gang raids in Waltham Forest (north east London). Pistol bullets were seized from a house in Fulham (west London) where drugs were also recovered, and shotgun ammunition was confiscated by police in Kingsthorpe (Northampton). Fifty live high-powered rifle bullets were discovered in undergrowth in Inverness. Shotgun shells and a grenade were found when a builder was clearing a garden shed in Cathays (Cardiff).

Guns were stolen from properties in Loughton (Essex) (BB gun), Much Hoole (Lancashire) (airgun), Nether Whitacre (Warwickshire) (two shotguns), Tamworth (Staffordshire) deactivated rifle), Bloxworth (Dorset) (a hoard of guns was reported to have been stolen from a farmhouse), Woodcote (Oxfordshire) (shotgun) and Eyemouth (Berwickshire) (air rifle taken from a caravan).


Incidents Involving Animals

The number of incidents in which animals and birds have been shot increased again in March - we have noted previously an upsurge of incidents once the winter months are over.

Cats were shot and injured, some fatally, with air weapons or pellet guns in Berkshire, Bristol (where there has been a spate of cat shootings on one street), Devon, Essex (two separate attacks), Fife, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, south east London and Suffolk. Two dogs were tied to a tree and shot with a shotgun in Cheshire - one was seriously injured and the other was killed. A sheep was shot in the eye with an air rifle at a farm in Gloucestershire, and six rabbits were shot with a pellet gun and then lined up in a row in Lancashire.

There were a number of reports of birds being targeted by shooters. Shotguns killed a peregrine falcon in Lincoln, a barn owl in Gloucestershire and a buzzard in Cambridge. Two gulls were killed with an air rifle in Berwick-upon-Tweed (Northumberland). Two men with air rifles were spotted close to an RSPB reserve in Motherwell (South Lanarkshire). A man from Looe (Cornwall) has been jailed for 56 days after he fatally shot a donkey belonging to his sister - he admitted criminal damage.

Inquests

A verdict of suicide was recorded for Derrick Bird and verdicts of unlawful killing on each of his 12 victims at the inquest following Bird's shooting rampage in Cumbria in June 2010. Verdicts of suicide were recorded at inquests into the deaths of a man who shot himself with a shotgun in Newport (Gwent), a man who killed himself with his own rifle in Fairford (Gloucestershire), and a young woman who shot herself with a shotgun at her home in Middleham (North Yorkshire).


Convictions

A man who assisted Raoul Moat to stay on the run after he shot three people, one fatally, on Tyneside has been convicted of murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and will serve at least 40 years in jail - he and another man involved, who will serve a minimum of 15 years, were also found guilty of conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and robbery. A man has been jailed for a minimum of 21 years after being convicted of murdering a man who was seized by a masked gang, one of whom had a shotgun, in Bacup (Lancashire) - the victim's body has never been found. A man who shot a man during a robbery in Kensington (Liverpool) has been found guilty of manslaughter - the victim died four weeks after the shooting. A man who shot his brother-in-law in the leg with a shotgun in a drive-by shooting in Uplawmoor(Renfrewshire) has pleaded guilty to attempted murder. A man involved in a robbery on a security van in Fulwood (Lancashire) in which a guard was shot with a handgun has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and attempted robbery. A man who fired shots at a car in Basford (Nottingham) pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life - he was jailed for 8 years. Three men have been convicted of possession of a firearm, reported to be a sawn-off shotgun, with intent to endanger life after an incident in Godmanchester (Cambridgeshire) in which a housesitter was shot - one of the men who admitted the offence also pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and unlawful wounding. One man admitted conspiracy to possess a firearm and he and three others admitted conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm following an incident in High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire) in which a gang are alleged to have opened fire on a family home. Eight men, including a 17-year-old, have been convicted of offences relating to the kidnap of a man at gunpoint in Streatham (south London) - the victim was pistol-whipped at the time of the kidnapping - the gang received sentences of between 20 months and 8 years. A man has been found guilty of endangering the lives of a group of hunters near his farm in Foveran (Aberdeenshire) - he repeatedly fired a rifle at them.


The following convictions followed armed robberies involving firearms: o A teenager who raided a betting shop in New Romney (Kent) when armed with a sawn-off shotgun and a post office in St Mary's Bay when he had a pistol has admitted the robberies and possessing a firearm with intent and possessing a firearm when prohibited and has been sentenced to 7 years youth custody - his accomplice in the St Mary's Bay raid was jailed for 3½ years. o Two other teenagers who raided a store in Knaresborough whilst armed with a sawn-off shotgun have been jailed, one of them, who was 16 at the time of the offence, for 5 years after being found guilty and the other for 3 years and 4 months after pleading guilty. o A member of a gang armed with sawn-off shotguns and a pistol who targeted a bank in Handsworth (Birmingham) was found guilty of two charges of robbery, three of kidnapping and six charges of possessing a firearm at the time of committing an offence - another man admitted a robbery charge. o Four people have been found guilty and three others admitted charges related to an armed robbery in Weston-super-Mare (Somerset) in which one of the men was armed with a shotgun. o A man was found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to rob, possessing pepper spray and assault with intent to rob after an attack on a student in Bristol - he has been jailed for 5 years. A man from Slough has been jailed for 6 years for being in possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and other offences - a firearm was found buried in his garden. A man from Merthyr Tydfil (Glamorgan) admitted possessing a firearm and criminal damage after brandishing a gun in a street and threatening to kill a van driver - he was sentenced to 21 months in a young offenders' institution. nTwo teenagers seen holding a loaded sawn-off shotgun and a pistol in Roundshaw (south London) have pleaded guilty to a number of charges and have each been jailed for 6 years. A woman who waved a loaded revolver outside a pub i nWavertree (Liverpool) has admitted four firearms charges and been jailed for 5 years with an extended licence of 1 year. A man who pulled out a revolver following a minor dispute at a pub in Sale (Greater Manchester) has been jailed for 20 months after admitting possessing a prohibited firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.


The following were also convicted for possessing firearms: o A 17-year-old girl has been jailed for 3 years after being found guilty of possession of a prohibited weapon - a sawn-off shotgun was found hidden under her bed in South Croydon (south London) o A convicted murderer has pleaded guilty to having a prohibited gun, a blank-firing pistol converted to be capable of firing potentially lethal shots which was found at an address in Deal (Kent) - he has been jailed for 7 years o A man caught with a shotgun and heroin in Edinburgh has admitted a drugs offence and illegally possessing the firearm and has been jailed for more than 8 years. o A man found with drugs and firearms, including shotguns and rifles, at his home in Skegby (Nottinghamshire) has been jailed for 7 years after admitting drug charges and possession of firearms without a certificate o A man discovered with a loaded shotgun and ammunition at his home in Stockbridge Village (Liverpool) pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and has been sentenced to 3 years and 9 months; a man who had a pistol that had been used in a fatal shooting which he took to his mother's home in Toxteth pleaded guilty to possessing the weapon o A father found with a pistol and ammunition in Bradford was jailed for 9 years after pleading guilty to possession of a pistol and ammunition - he and his son admitted drugs offences. A man whose company provided safe deposit boxes in London where organised crime gangs could store guns (five handguns were recovered by police in Park Lane, Hampstead and Edgware) pleaded guilty to 14 offences including possession of a firearm and was jailed for 4½ years, his business partner was jailed for 1 year and one of their customers, who had admitted possession of a firearm and ammunition, was sentenced to 8 years.

Stun Guns - The following men were convicted of offences involving stun guns: o A man from Minehead (Somerset) has been given a community order for possession of a stun gun - he was also fined for possessing cocaine. o Another man found with a Taser at an address in Haydock (Merseyside) was given a 12-week prison sentence. o A man has admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine and four charges relating to weapons - a stun gun and replica weapons were found at a property in Easton (Bristol) o A man from Radcliffe (Greater Manchester) who is on trial for drugs offences pleaded guilty to possession a stun gun and police-style batons but will go on trial over the basis of his pleas


Airguns and Imitation Guns (Court Cases)

A man who seriously injured his ex-girlfriend with an airgun in Morriston (Swansea) whilst he was drunk admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was jailed for 6 years. A man who shot a 16-year-old with an air rifle in a street in Halifax (West Yorkshire) has admitted possession of an imitation firearm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and been jailed for 2 years and 8 months. A man who fired an air rifle at teenage campers who were making a noise whilst he was fishing in Greenhalgh (Lancashire) and also threw petrol bombs at them has been jailed. A man who fired a replica pistol at bailiffs in Southend (Essex) has been jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. Three youths who took potshots at a house outside Newton Abbot (Devon) pleaded guilty to possession of an unloaded air rifle and joint criminal damage and were given suspended jail sentences - all three were also given 150 hours of unpaid work.

The following cases also involved the use of airguns and imitation guns to threaten: o A teenager was jailed for 3 years for two counts of possessing a replica handgun with intent to cause fear or violence following an incident in South Kilburn (north west London) when he aimed the gun at a police officer o A man pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, previously reported to be a BB gun, with intent to cause fear and violence following an armed siege in Wells (Somerset) o A man who became upset with a driver over parking near his home in Colchester (Essex) and took out an air rifle admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and was given a 4-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 240-hours unpaid work o A teenager from Uffculme (Devon) who held a toy gun to the head of a taxi driver has admitted affray, along with an unrelated offence, and been given a suspended sentence of 12 months in youth custody, and ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid community work o A man who was seen with an air rifle in a store in Carlisle has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and to possessing a firearm when he was prohibited from doing so o A "gun enthusiast" from Carshalton (south London) who pointed an airgun at a girl's face has been found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence o A man who fantasised about being an American police detective and caused an armed police alert in Northwood (west London) when he was spotted with an imitation firearm was given a community order with 12 months supervision o A man from Morecambe (Lancashire) was in court after pointing an imitation gun at a man using a cashpoint machine o A court in Livingston (West Lothian) heard that a man went to his partner's ex-boyfriend's flat with a BB gun and said he planned to shoot the other man in the head - sentencing was deferred. It was reported that a man had been jailed for a year in January 2011 for affray possession of an imitation firearm, possessing an offensive weapon and drugs possession after a previous incident in Buxton (Derbyshire).

There were a number of convictions for robberies and attempted robberies in which the offender(s) was armed with an imitation firearm or air weapon. The incidents occurred: o at a Bookmakers in High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire) (the offender pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and four counts of possession of an imitation firearm, a plastic toy gun - he also attempted a robbery on a woman in a car park and robbed a petrol station in the town - he will serve 6 years in jail) o at Houses in Sheffield (a man admitted three counts of robbery, one of attempted robbery and one of possession an imitation firearm and has been jailed for 4 years - his accomplice was given a 12-month detention and training order), and in South Ealing (west London) (a man was found guilty of aggravated burglary and possession of a firearm, an air pistol, to commit an indictable offence and was jailed for 8 years) o at a Petrol Station in Maryport (Cumbria) (a man who was armed with an imitation gun admitted the offence and will serve a total of 7 years and 6 months for this and a separate offence) (see also Bookmakers above for another robbery at a Petrol Station in High Wycombe) o at Post Offices in Longbenton (Tyneside) (a man has been jailed for 6 years after admitting conspiracy to rob and possession of a firearm with intent), in Edinburgh (a teenager has admitted assault by presenting an imitation firearm at his victim and robbing him of money), and in Bromsgrove (Worcestershire) (a man admitted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm and has been jailed for 10 years) o at a Pub in Chorlton (Manchester) (a man pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of an imitation firearm at the time of committing an offence and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and will serve at least 9½ years in prison) o at Shops in the Nottingham area (a former security guard has been convicted of eight robberies and three charges of possessing an imitation firearm after he robbed a number of premises where he used to work - he was jailed for 21 years), in Whitmore Reans (Wolverhampton) (one man admitted two charges of robbery and two charges of possession of an imitation firearm), in Barnsley (South Yorkshire) (a woman was convicted of trying to rob two stores - an imitation gun had been recovered), and in Tunstall (Staffordshire) (a man pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and two charges of possessing an imitation firearm and a number of other offences - he had also robbed a taxi driver in Fegg Hayes whilst armed with the imitation firearm - he was jailed for 10 years) o in Street robberies in Stourbridge (Worcestershire) (two men admitted two charges of robbery and possessing an imitation firearm, an air pistol, and were given custodial sentences of 5 years and 2½ years), in Bexhill-on-Sea (East Sussex) (two men were each jailed for 5 years for a series of gunpoint robberies after pleading guilty to one count of attempted robbery, two actual robberies and for possession of an imitation firearm), and in Croydon (south London) (a man who demanded a woman's bag pleaded guilty to robbery and has been found guilty of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence) o on a Taxi Driver in Breightmet (Greater Manchester) (one man has admitted his part in a robbery in which a BB gun was apparently used - a second man has denied the charges) (see also Shops above for another incident involving a taxi driver in Fegg Hayes) A man from Hartlepool (Teesside), banned from keeping guns after a previous conviction, was found with two airguns at his home - he admitted two counts of possessing a firearm while prohibited from doing so and one of possessing ammunition and was given a 2 year community order with supervision and 80- hours unpaid work. A man who passed a bag containing a blank-firing pistol to his young daughter after being involved in a minor car accident in Cambridge pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in a public place and having excess alcohol in his blood and received a 9-month suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work. A 14-year-old boy who took his mother's pellet gun to school in Ely (Cambridgeshire) has admitted possessing an imitation firearm in a public place.


FEBRUARY 2011


Guns and Schools.

Some of the most shocking gun attacks of recent years in Europe and North America have taken place at schools and colleges, and it remains a major concern whenever guns of any description are brought to places of education or are used in the vicinity. This month there have been a number of reminders of the need to remain vigilant and not just the serious incident in which eleven pupils at a secondary school in Auchinleck (Ayrshire) were targeted with airgun pellets during their lunch break. Shots were also reported to have been fired at a college in Wandsworth, and elsewhere in south London a 13-year-old was convicted of possessing a revolver and ammunition which he had taken to his school. In another incident in Ayrshire a pupil at a school in Stewarton was suspended after taking a BB gun to school and in Cambridgeshire a pupil was arrested for having an air rifle at school in Ely. A girl was spoken to after someone was seen with what looked like a handgun outside a college in Lincoln. Two 14-year-olds, allegedly armed with a gas powered airgun and a knife, have been charged after a series of robberies outside a school in Hendon (north west London).

Airguns and Imitation Guns

In January 2011 we noted only one instance of a victim being shot with an air weapon or imitation gun. Unfortunately this appears to have been an exception and this month there were reports of a number of people, the majority of them young, being hit by pellets. Eleven of the victims were school pupils in Auchinleck but other incidents were reported from Cobham, Elgin, Gateshead, Glasgow, Kidderminster and Wembley.

Armed Robberies

From the reports seen in February there appears to have
been an increase in the number of robberies, attempted robberies and burglaries involving guns. The number of raids on Shops was the highest monthly total we have noted and there were also a worrying number of Street incidents and attacks at victims' Homes. A number of these incidents are known to have involved imitation weapons

Gun Deaths and Injuries

There were 5 fatal shooting incidents in February. A man was shot dead in Aigburth (Merseyside) and two people, a man and a woman, were later arrested on suspicion of murder. Of the four gun homicides in Great Britain in 2011, three have occurred on Merseyside.

A man wanted by police in connection with armed robberies died after being shot by armed officers in Kemp Town (Sussex). In 3 other incidents the fatal injuries appear to have been self-inflicted: o A man seen leaving his house in Haxby (York) with a shotgun was later found dead in his car o A man died from a single gunshot wound at a house in Warsop Vale (Nottinghamshire) - police are not treating the death as suspicious o A man was pronounced dead in hospital after sustaining shotgun wounds in Inkberrow (Worcestershire) - the incident too was not being treated as suspicious

Twenty-four victims were shot, nearly three quarters of them with airguns and imitation weapons (see below). o Bedfordshire (2) - two men were shot when they answered the door of their home in Luton o London (3) - two teenagers were injured in a shooting involving a shotgun in South Norwood, and a woman was hit in the head when a shotgun was fired at her during an attempted robbery in Canning Town (see below)
o Merseyside (1) - a man who had been shot in the stomach took himself to hospital in Fazakerley o Tyne & Wear (1) - a man was found in a street in Sunderland with gunshot wounds to one leg

At least 17 other victims, most of them children, were reported to have been hit by pellets from BB guns or airguns: London (1) - a 5-year-old boy was shot in the back of the head with an air rifle in Wembley (three teenagers were arrested for three counts of actual bodily harm and possession of a firearm in a public place) Scotland (13) - 11 school pupils were hit when they were targeted with an air weapon during their lunch break in Auchinleck (Ayrshire), an elderly woman was struck with a pellet from a BB gun in a library in Elgin (Moray) (two youths have been charged), and a man may lose an eye after being shot with a BB gun in Glasgow Surrey (1) - a student was injured at a football club training ground by a player who was "larking about" with a .22 air rifle he had brought to the ground Tyne & Wear (1) - a 15-year-old received facial injuries when he was shot in Gateshead with what was either an airgun or BB gun - the victim said a man demanded money (two young men have been arrested) Worcestershire (1) - an 11-year-old girl was shot in the face with a BB gun in Kidderminster In an incident which occurred in January 2011 a man was shot in the face three times with a pellet gun in Crowborough (East Sussex). A security guard was shot with a stun gun during a hold-up on a bank in Erdington (Birmingham) (see below).

Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults

A woman collecting takings in Canning Town (east London) was shot in the head with a shotgun during an attempted robbery. There were other robberies and attempted robberies allegedly involving guns at Banks and Building Societies (2) in Erdington (Birmingham) (stun gun; a
security guard was shot), and Selsdon (south London) (handgun), Bookmakers (6) in Plaistow (east London) (handgun), Newark (Nottinghamshire) (handgun), Headington (imitation firearm; two men and a woman arrested), Kendray (South Yorkshire), Corsham (Wiltshire) (handgun), and Glasgow, a Petrol Station (1) in Marston (Oxford), Food Outlets and Restaurants (2) in Feltham (west London) (handgun), and Bootle (Merseyside) (pistol; linked to a robbery at a store in Litherland), Shops (21) in Worcester (imitation firearm; three people have been
charged with two armed robberies), Hayfield and Glossop (Derbyshire) (a man has been charged with both robberies), Newton-le-Willows (Merseyside) (handgun), Bradford (a shotgun was fired), Scholes (Leeds), Wollaton
(Nottingham) (handgun; a teenager was arrested), West Derby (Liverpool) (a man has been charged with attempted robbery), Fartown (West Yorkshire), New Addington (south London), Sunderland (police suggest an imitation gun), Hartlepool (Teesside) (replica gun), Litherland (Merseyside) (handgun; linked to a robbery at a chip shop in Bootle), Croxley Green (Hertfordshire), Peterborough (handgun), Thurmaston and Birstall(Leicestershire) (same man believed to be responsible), Burnley (Lancashire), Blakelaw (Tyneside), Ashley Heath (Dorset) (handgun), and West Bridgford (Nottingham) (revolver), and a Travel Agents (1) in Wallasey (Merseyside).

There were armed raids on Houses in Weymouth (Dorset) (handgun; a teenager has been arrested), Pinner (north west London) (revolver; two men stole a car and other items), Totton (Hampshire) (a teenage girl was threatened with a stun gun), Alwoodley (Leeds) (a family were threatened with a shotgun), and South Hay (Hampshire) (an elderly couple with threatened with a gun during a
burglary).

Street robberies occurred in Stevenage (Hertfordshire) (a series of robberies were committed by a gang of teenagers carrying a stun gun; three have been arrested), Colchester (Essex), Haringey, Hackney and Islington (London) (two men have been charged after threatening bystanders at gunpoint or with a machete to get their bank details - one of the charges was possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence), Burnley (Lancashire) (probably an imitation firearm), Gateshead (Tyneside) (the victim was shot in the face with either an airgun or BB gun (see above); two young men have been arrested), Prestwich (Greater Manchester) (a woman had her purse stolen), and outside a school in Hendon (north west London) (two 14-year-old boys found with an airgun and lock knife were charged with a number of offences including one of possession of an imitation firearm). Two Cars were stolen from a storage yard in Stechford (West Midlands) by a gang armed with a pistol. A robber with a pistol stole money and a vehicle from a Taxi driver in Portland (Dorset).

Other Incidents

Shots were fired during a number of other incidents: o Essex - shots were fired outside a house in Waltham Abbey (a man has been charged with possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life) o London - police officers were called after reports of a shot or shots being fired at a college in Wandsworth, a shot was heard outside a nightclub in Balham, and a gun was fired at the window of a home in West Kensington (a teenager was injured by flying glass) o North Yorkshire - a coach driver believes a window of his vehicle may have been shot out by someone shooting pheasants in a field near Tadcaster o Suffolk - a vehicle was shot at in a mobile home park in Beck Row (five men were arrested, two on suspicion of conspiracy to murder and two on suspicion of attempted murder) o West Midlands - shots were fired towards a house in Kitts Green (a man was arrested), five shots were fired at a woman driver in Lea Hall and windows of her car were smashed and tyres punctured, shots were fired in a street in Kingstanding (seven people were being questioned by police), and a shot was fired through a pub window in Tipton whilst police were inside following up an earlier incident o West Yorkshire - shots were fired through a house window in Clayton (Bradford)

Other incidents occurred in: o Buckinghamshire - a resident of a house in High Wycombe was threatened with what is believed to be a gun o Leicestershire - a man threatened a young woman with a gun during a sexual assault in Loughborough o Lincolnshire - occupants of a house in Deeping St James were threatened with a handgun, and a girl was spotted with what looked like a handgun in Lincoln (she was spoken to by police but no further action was taken) o Scotland - a man was arrested for Breach of the Peace involving a firearm on the Isle of Cumbrae o South London - a handgun was thrown into the street and two men were caught by police in Thornton Heath o West Yorkshire - a house in Haworth was searched in relation to an incident in which a gun may have been present A teenager was attacked and a stun gun reportedly seen in Derby (8 teenagers were arrested).

There were two other incidents in which guns were suspected but no firearm was recovered: o A motorist reported seeing a man with a handgun in Newton Bewley (County Durham) o Four men were arrested in Glasgow after the police were alerted that four men who had a handgun were travelling in a car

Airguns and Imitation Guns - see above for Incidents in which victims were shot.

Airguns and imitation weapons were probably used in many of the armed robberies and this was certainly so in robberies in Burnley (Lancashire), Gateshead (Tyneside), Hartlepool (Teesside), Haringey, Hackney and Islington
(London), Headington (Oxford), Hendon (north west London), Sunderland, and Worcester.

There were further incidents involving imitation weapons which caused fear or alarm: o A teenager has been charged with carrying an imitation firearm on a train at Clapham Junction (south London) o An airgun was recovered by police at a flat in Kidderminster (Worcestershire) where two men claimed they had been threatened with a firearm (seven people were arrested, three of them on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm) o A taxi driver was challenged by a motorist in Burton-on-Trent (Staffordshire) (a man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of an offensive weapon, and an air rifle and craft knife were recovered) o After a man was threatened in Workington (Cumbria) two men have been charged with possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence - the gun was reported to be a gas-powered pistol o A man was hit in the face with a bottle and threatened with an air pistol in Bentilee (Stoke-on-Trent) after complaining about youths making noise (a 16-year-old was arrested) o A man is alleged to have caused distress after firing an imitation machine gun in a church in Borough (south London) o A man was questioned on suspicion of having an imitation firearm and a knife at a hospital in Gorleston (Norfolk) o In two separate incidents in Leicester armed police responded to reports of people seen with guns, a group of youths with a plastic gun and a group of men on a bus who had toy guns. o A man was arrested in Pwllheli(Gwynedd) after someone was seen carrying an airgun A 13-year-old boy who took a BB gun to school in Stewarton(Ayrshire) has been suspended from school and reported to the children's panel. A teenage pupil who took an air rifle to school in Ely (Cambridgeshire) was arrested. Following previous incidents a man has denied two counts of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence against two fellow motorists after an incident on the M1 in May 2010, and a teenager has been charged with robbery, causing grievous bodily harm and possession of an imitation firearm after an attack on a taxi driver in St Ann's (Nottingham) in December 2010. On the same evening when a teenager was shot in the face in Gateshead (Tyneside) (see above) a taxi driver in the area reported damage to his vehicle with an airgun pellet and a bus driver reported that pellets had been fired. Air rifles are reported to have been fired at allotments in Whitby(North Yorkshire) where damage is being caused by youngsters. Two people fired an air rifle to damage car windows in Glossop (Derbyshire) (a man was arrested). Three air rifles were seized after gunshots were heard from a car near Coggeshall (Essex). An air rifle was confiscated from a house in Sittingbourne (Kent) where a man was wanted by police for allegedly breaching bail conditions.

Guns Recoveries and Thefts

Guns were found during drugs raids in Felixstowe (Suffolk) (four people were arrested), Burnley (Lancashire) (stun gun; a number of people were detained), Carlisle (stun gun; two men arrested), Bolton (Greater Manchester) (stun gun; one man arrested), Dale End (Birmingham), Enfield (north London) (imitation handgun; one man arrested), Paisley (three men were arrested), and Maerdy (Glamorgan) (BB gun; a man was arrested). Guns were seized in other police operations in Waltham Abbey (Essex) (a man was arrested on suspicion of burglary, receiving stolen goods and possessing a firearm without a certificate and theft), Leytonstone and Walthamstow (north east London) (two guns disguised as pens; two teenagers were held), Easington Lane (County Durham) (air weapon), and Salford. A shotgun was found on wasteland in St Ann's (Nottingham) after a tip-off. Volunteers clearing a churchyard in Bromley-by-Bow (east London) uncovered a revolver. Guns were stolen from a house in Clayton le Dale (Lancashire) (two rifles, shotgun), a community building in Redditch (Worcestershire) (5 air rifles and an air pistol), a house near Newburgh (Fife), and a paintball centre in Alexandria (Dunbartonshire) (deactivated firearms).

Incidents Involving Animals

Although the number of reports remained comparatively low in February the nature of the incidents reflects the harm that continues to be inflicted on animals and birds by some gun owners. A campaigner in Surrey spoke out this month about airgun owners who use wild animals for target practice. Cats were targeted in airgun incidents in Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Kent. Another cat had to have his tail amputated after suffering serious shotgun wounds in Staffordshire. A squirrel found injured in a street in Dorking (Surrey) had an air rifle pellet lodged in its back and had to be put down. Swans were also targeted with air rifles: in the worst incident eight birds were found shot dead near Wedmore (Somerset), another had to be put down after being shot with three different airguns in Benton (Tyneside), and a swan was recovering after being shot in the head in Littlehampton (West Sussex). A sheriff has implied that two youths from Peebles who were armed with an air rifle when they stole a pet rabbit from a children's nursery wanted to use it for target practice - they pled guilty to stealing the rabbit.

Inquests

A verdict of suicide was recorded at an inquest following the death of a man in Pantygog (Mid Glamorgan) in June 2010 - he took his own life with a shotgun at allotments near his home. A verdict of suicide was also recorded at the inquest into the death of a pensioner in Bourton-on-the-Water (Gloucestershire) whose body was found in his garden with a shotgun in his lap in July 2010. A coroner has concluded that a man who shot himself with a double-barrelled shotgun in his garden in Didcot (Oxfordshire) in September 2010 took his own life. An open verdict was recorded at the inquest of a man found dead in October 2010 with his shotgun beside him in a field in Sollom (Lancashire). An inquest has concluded that a man killed himself with a rifle at a lock-up garage in Wallington (south west London) in October 2010.

Convictions

Six men have been found guilty of the murder of a man who was shot with a shotgun in Gipsy Hill (south London) - they were all given sentences of 18 years or more. Four men were convicted for murder of a shopworker who was shot dead in Salford and another man had admitted the murder - three of the men received life sentences, another will serve a minimum of 8 years and the fifth man was jailed for 7 years. A man who fired a handgun at another man in a street in Bristol has been convicted of attempted murder and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and will serve a minimum of 12½ years.
A security man who shot an intruder in the foot with a shotgun at a yard in Paddock Wood (Kent) had previously received a life sentence for murder - he admitted possessing a firearm when prohibited and was jailed for 3 years. A soldier from Vigo (Kent) convicted of trying to blow up his wife had admitted possession of 95 rounds of rifle ammunition without a firearms certificate - he will serve a minimum of 16 years. A man from Middlesbrough who bought a shotgun and then threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend has pleaded guilty to having a firearm with intent to cause fear, making threats to kill and possessing a shotgun without a certificate and was jailed for 3 years. A man has admitted possessing a firearm with intent to commit criminal damage - he fired a shotgun at a burglar alarm next to his home in St John's Wood (north west London).

There were a number of convictions for armed robberies involving guns (see also Airguns and Imitation Guns below): o In one of two cases in the West Midlands three teenagers, one of whom was armed with a loaded handgun, have been found guilty of armed robbery and firearms charges after a robbery at a bookmakers in Wolverhampton. Two men pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at a jeweller's in Smethwick and possessing a firearm - one of them admitted another robbery in Palfrey and possessing an imitation firearm (see below). o Five members of a gang aged between 18 and 22 who carried out burglaries in Merseyside have pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit burglary and aggravated burglary were jailed for between 7 and 10 years - during one raid in St Helens a shotgun was fired. o Thirty people have been jailed for 33 armed robberies at shops in southern and eastern England during in which various weapons including a gun were used. o Two men involved in a robbery at a pub in Ashton-under-Lyne (Greater Manchester) in which a sawn-off shotgun was fired at the door have been jailed for 9½ years and 12 years.

The following were convicted for possessing firearms:
o Essex - a man who kept a revolver and blank ammunition for his drug dealer at his home in Saffron Waldon admitted possession and was jailed for 12 months o Greater Manchester - a man who kept a sawn-off shotgun and drugs at his girlfriend's home in Gorton has been jailed for 7½ years, and two men found with a loaded revolver in a car in Moss Side have been convicted and jailed for 5 years and 8 years o Humberside - a man who claimed the weapons collection at his home in Hull was due to his interest in armoury has been jailed for 2 years after a sawn-off shotgun, bullets and other items were found by police o Kent - a woman who armed herself with a pistol which was found at a flat in Chatham admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possessing prohibited ammunition and will serve a minimum of 3 years in jail o London - a 13-year-old who took a loaded revolver to his school in Merton pleaded guilty to one count of being a person under 14 in possession of a firearm and two counts of possessing ammunition (he was handed a 10- month community sentence), and a man has admitted hoarding an arsenal of weapons and ammunition including a revolver, air rifle and stun at his scrapyard in Clapham o Merseyside - a man who had a revolver by his bed in Bootle has been jailed for a total of 7 years for possessing the firearm and for a separate attack, another man caught hiding a gun at a hostel in Aigburth following his release from prison was found guilty of possessing a firearm and three offences of possessing ammunition and was sentenced to 7 years, a teenager who had a pistol in his shed in Huyton pleaded guilty to possessing the weapon and ammunition and was sent to a Young Offenders' Institute for 5 years, and another offender who admitted possessing a revolver and ammunition after taking a loaded gun into a hospital has been detained in hospital as he was suffering from psychotic symptoms at the time. o Staffordshire - a country sports enthusiast illegally bought a rifle and bullets at a market in Leek - the weapon and ammunition together with a stun gun were found in his garden shed in Tamworth and he was jailed for 2 years after admitting illegal possession o Wales - a man from Ebbw Vale (Gwent) found with a flare gun pen was
found guilty of a number of charges including possession of a prohibited firearm and has been jailed for 5 years o West Yorkshire - a drug dealer who hid an arsenal of weapons including a converted Baikal handgun at a house in Huddersfield pleaded guilty to a series of charges and was jailed for 11 years A man from Berkhamsted (Hertfordshire) who attempted to import two pistols and ammunition has pleaded guilty.

Stun Guns - A number of men have been jailed for between 7 and 12 years for their role in an armed raid on a nightclub in Batley (West Yorkshire) in which the raiders were armed with Tasers and machetes.

Airguns and Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - The following cases involved the use of airguns and imitations guns to threaten or cause fear: o A man from Grangetown (Teesside) who pursued his former partner whilst holding an imitation gun has admitted possession of an imitation firearm and handling stolen goods and been jailed for 20 months. A man who armed himself with a starting pistol and knuckle-dusters to scare off youths in Billingham (Teesside) admitted possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence - he was given a suspended 6-month jail sentence and an 18-month supervision order. o A man caught with an air pistol in public in Chopwell (Tyneside) was jailed for 14 weeks - his offence was in breach of a previously imposed suspended sentence. o A pensioner cleared of wounding a teenager in the neck with an air rifle in St Austell (Cornwall) did admit possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear. o A former member of a Wild West re enactment group fired a replica gun in his garden in Lipson (Devon) and was given a suspended 8 month jail sentence and 12 months' supervision from the Probation Service after pleading guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear. o A man who threatened to shoot people at his neighbour's house in Bridgnorth (Shropshire) with an air rifle was convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and jailed for 1 year. o An air rifle owner from Lincoln who threatened to shoot his ex-girlfriend, claiming he had a loaded shotgun, has pleaded guilty to making menacing phone calls and received a 12-month supervision order with conditions not to contact her or own air weapons

There were a number of convictions for robberies and attempted robberies in which the offender(s) was armed with an imitation firearm or airgun. The incidents occurred: o at a Bank in Balham (south London) (an offender who was 15 at the time of the robbery and was armed with an imitation firearm was given a youth
rehabilitation order - he was one of five people responsible for an eightweek spree of robberies in south London, the four others have been jailed for between 9 and 14 years). o at Shops in Palfrey (a man pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm after a raid on a jeweller's- he was also involved with another man in a robbery in Smethwick (see above)), and Leeds (a man who threatened a member of staff with a plastic handgun had also threatened two elderly women in their homes, one with the same gun - he will serve a minimum of 6 years in jail). o at Homes in Everton (Liverpool) (two men who were part of a gang admitted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence and were jailed for 10 year and 4 months and 7½ years), and Bolton (Greater Manchester) (two men pleaded guilty to
robbery and possession of an imitation firearm and were jailed for 8 years) o at Petrol Stations in Shinfiel(Berkshire) (one man has been convicted of robbery and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and another admitted the raid), and Livingstone (West Lothian) (two men, one of whom was armed with an airgun, pled guilty to attempted robbery and were jailed for 10 months and 1 year) o on a Taxi in Craigour(Edinburgh) (a teenager was given 300 hours of community service after admitting intending not to pay a £9 fare and pointing an imitation firearm at the driver) A man pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after he waved a toy gun as he tried to hail a taxi in Newquay (Cornwall) -he was fined £200 with a 1-year conditional discharge. A man who admitted possessing an unloaded air weapon in a public place in Didcot (Oxfordshire) was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

JANUARY SUMMARY 2011

During January two sets of figures for gun crime in England and Wales were published. Both indicated that gun crime is continuing to fall. The more detailed figures reveal an annual drop of 9% in the number of offences for all firearms (including air weapons) to 12,995 recorded crimes during the year to March 2010. The other data show a fall of 6% for gun crime not involving air weapons for the year ending September 2010. Within the detailed data there were some increases, including for offences resulting in injury (up 5%) and offences involving imitation weapons (up 1%), but both these categories had shown large falls in the previous year and were still down significantly from 2007/08. There was a welcome fall of 12% in offences involving handguns, although it remains likely the data include many that will have involved imitation weapons, something which is suggested by the frequency with which weapons used in armed robberies, described at the time of the incident as handguns, are later identified as imitations. the recorded use of shotguns decreased, although there is anecdotal evidence from media reports to suggest that these are increasingly being used in the most serious gun crime. The figures reveal that when shotguns were used in crime they were four-times more likely to be fired than handguns. The number of offences involving air weapons fell by a further 19 percent in 2009/10 and has more than halved since 2005/06, though airguns were still involved in nearly five thousand offences which comprised 38% of the total number. The fall in airgun offences is greater than suggested by the number of media reports seen and some of the incidents, such as the frequent attacks on pets and wildlife, are probably not being included in the gun crime statistics.

In February a new law on Airgun Safety comes into force and it is hoped that this measure will lead to a further reduction in the misuse of air weapons. Nevertheless, Infer Trust continues to have concerns about the misuse of airguns and their accessibility. It is worth recording, however, that at least during January 2011 there were fewer reports of incidents involving air weapons, with only one in which a victim was hit (see below).


JANUARY 2011 INCIDENTS
ï· Gun Deaths and Injuries - There were five shooting incidents in January which resulted in fatalities. Three of these were apparent homicides: o Merseyside (2) - a man died six days after being shot in Anfield (three people were arrested), and a second victim was fatally shot in Fazakerley (an 18-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of murder) o West Yorkshire (1) - a woman was found dead at a house in Woodlesford (Leeds) with wounds apparently from a shotgun (a man has been charged with murder)

ï· Two apparent suicides were also reported this month. A man shot and killed himself with a sawn-off shotgun after a 16-hour siege in a park in Luton (Bedfordshire) and a man was found dead on a canal boat in Alvechurch (Worcestershire) with a shotgun lying by his side.

ï· Eighteen victims were shot, just one with an airgun or imitation gun. o Bedfordshire (1) - a man sustained serious injuries after being shot in Bedford o Devon (1) - a 15-year-old boy was shot twice in the head with an airgun in Brixham o Greater Manchester (2) - a teenage boy and a man both suffered shotgun wounds in Bury (one man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm) o Kent (1) - a teenager was shot with a revolver in Dover (another teenager has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and attempting to pervert the course of justice) o London (9) - three people were reported to have been shot in Croydon (four teenagers were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder), a man was seriously injured when he was shot in Hackney, four teenagers were reported to have been hit when a gunman on a moped opened fire in Stockwell (two teenagers have been arrested) and a 14-year-old was shot during attacks in East Dulwich in which another teenager was fatally stabbed o Merseyside (1) - a man was shot in the abdomen and hip outside a takeaway in Wavertree o Nottinghamshire (1) - a man was shot, apparently at a house in Beeston (six people have been arrested over the shooting) o Tyneside (1) - a man was shot as he walked through the front door of his house in Dumpling Hall (two 17-year-olds were helping police with their inquiries) o West Yorkshire (1) - a man was shot in the leg with a shotgun during a confrontation in a street in Manningham (Bradford) (three men, probably including the victim, were arrested)

ï· It was also reported that a man had been shot in a street in Hook (south west London) in December 2010.

ï· Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were robberies and attempted robberies allegedly involving guns at Banks and Post Offices (5) in Hove (East Sussex),
Watlington (Oxfordshire) (sawn-off shotgun; a man has been charged with a number of offences relating to this and earlier robberies), Langley (Berkshire), and Burgess Hill (West Sussex) (at two separate premises; the raids are believed to be linked), Bookmakerâ€s (6) in Palfrey (West Midlands) (handgun), Manchester (handgun), Rushden (Northamptonshire) (handgun), Glasgow (two separate incidents), and Hamilton (South Lanarkshire), Petrol Stations (6) in March (Cambridgeshire) (handgun), Vauxhall (Liverpool) (BB gun; a 17-year-old
was arrested), High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire), Aylesbury (Buckinghamshire) (handgun), Ellesmere Port (Cheshire) (BB gun; a man has been charged), and
Longwick (Buckinghamshire) (handguns), Clubs and Pubs (2) in Linwood (Renfrewshire) (handgun) and Moorside (Greater Manchester) (handgun) and Shops (11) in Birkby (West Yorkshire) (shotgun), Cowlersley and Milnsbridge (West Yorkshire) (two separate raids which are being linked), Portsmouth (imitation firearm; a man has been charged), Gloucester, Whalley Range (Manchester) (handgun), Droitwich (Worcestershire) (pistol-like weapon; three teenagers were arrested), Tunbridge Wells (Kent) (shotgun; a shot was fired) Danderhall (Midlothian) (handgun), Edinburgh (handgun) and Gabalfa (Cardiff) (handgun).

ï· Details were reported of armed robberies from December 2010: two teenagers have been arrested following two raids on a bookmakers in Crosby (Merseyside), there was an armed robbery on a petrol station in Corby (Northamptonshire) involving a shotgun, and in Finsbury Park (north London) a shopkeeper's son was pistol-whipped during an attempted robbery. A robbery on a shop in South Woodgate in November 2010 was also reported - staff were threatened with a stun gun.


ï· In raids on Houses mobile phones and jewellery were stolen from a property in Ringstead (Northamptonshire), and a woman was threatened with a gun and a knife by a gang of men who burst into her home in Pitsea (Essex) and stole a mobile phone.

ï· In Street robberies apparently involving guns three teenagers had their mobile phones stolen in Glossop (Derbyshire) (stun gun), a woman was robbed of her
handbag in Glasgow (handgun), and two men were threatened with a shotgun when they went to view a car in Newhey (Greater Manchester).

ï· A Taxi Driver had his vehicle stolen in Walsall (West Midlands) by three men who threatened him at gunpoint. Cigarettes were stolen from a Lorry Driver
during a delivery to a service station in Chalford (Gloucestershire) by three men possibly armed with a handgun. A female Car Driver was ordered out of her
vehicle at gunpoint in High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire) but the offender fled when a passer-by came over - the incident is being linked to three other robberies including one at a petrol station (see above). Three men armed with various weapons, including a possible gun, threatened a young man outside his home near Marsden (West Yorkshire) and demanded his car keys but fled emptyhanded.

ï· Other Incidents

Shots were fired during a number of other incidents in January:
o County Durham - a road sign in Mile Lonnen was damaged by bullets from a .22 rifle o Essex - a shot is alleged to have been fired when a gang forced their way into a house in Vange o London - a street corner in Manor House was cordoned off after reports of gunshots being fired, and police were investigating a claim that a gun had been fired in Harlesden o Merseyside - shotgun pellets were fired at a house in Huyton o Nottinghamshire - a gun was fired in Radford (Nottingham) (a man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life) o Scotland - a man was charged with possessing recklessly discharging a firearm in Bridge of Allan (Stirlingshire), and shots were fired at a property in Maryhill (Glasgow) leaving holes in the living hole window o West Yorkshire - a shotgun was fired at the front door of a house in Keighley (six men and three women have been arrested)

ï· Shots had been fired at a house in Crewe (Cheshire) in an incident which occurred in December 2010 - two men were arrested.
ï· A man detained after a 5-hour standoff with police in Aigburth (Liverpool) was charged with possession of a handgun and ammunition - in an earlier related incident a pedestrian was threatened with a pistol by a motorist in Garston.
ï· In west London a woman and five men were arrested for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life after witnesses saw suspects "waving guns around" in Chiswick (west London), and police arrested an alleged gunman in Fulham after a tip-off that two men armed with a shotgun and a pistol had been seen arriving at a house.
ï· A man was arrested in St Columb Minor (Cornwall) after reports that a man made threats to shoot members of the public.
ï· A man was seen apparently holding a shotgun during an attack on a house in Luton (Bedfordshire). Police were called to a house in Ashford (Surrey) after reports that a man had been seen with a gun - no guns were found but four people were arrested. In Attleborough (Norfolk) police responded to a report that a man had been seen carrying a gun but the manhunt was called off following a search of the area.
ï· A 17-year-old from South Hackney (east London) has been charged after being stopped and found to be carrying a Taser.


Airguns and Imitation Guns

A police officer was shot at with a BB gun when he went to a house in Swindon (Wiltshire) following reports of a disturbance (a
man has been charged with possession of a firearm with intent to resist arrest).
ï· An air rifle was fired at a train in Normanton (West Yorkshire) damaging its windscreen.
ï· Airguns and imitation weapons were probably used in many of the armed robberies and this was certainly so in the robberies in Vauxhall (Liverpool), Portsmouth, and Ellesmere Port (Cheshire). A man was charged in connection with nine offences including ones relating to an attempted robbery in Slough (Berkshire) in December 2010 which involved an imitation firearm.

There were other incidents involving airguns and imitation weapons which caused alarm:

o A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence following a confrontation with a paramedic in Arborfield (Berkshire) o A man was arrested for possession of an air rifle with intent to cause fear of violence after an incident in the centre of Yatton (Somerset) o Three people were arrested after a woman was seen wielding a weapon in Whitley Bay (Tyneside) - an air rifle was recovered o An air rifle was seized by police and a man arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill at the scene of an incident in Bourne (Lincolnshire) o A man was arrested at a furniture store in Blaydon (Teesside) after allegedly threatening staff with an imitation gun o A man was arrested after an air pistol was brandished and staff threatened at a nightclub in Abergavenny (Gwent)
ï· Five young men were arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence after reports of a gun being pointed
out of a car in Nottingham - a BB gun was recovered.
ï· A man seen carrying a silver handgun in Exeter (Devon) was given "suitable words of advice" by police when a toy gun was confiscated. Two teenagers found
carrying ball bearing guns in Devizes (Wiltshire) were given advice but were not arrested.

Guns Recoveries and Thefts

Guns were found during searches in which drugs were recovered in Wellingborough (Northamptonshire) (handgun), Merseyside (air rifle), Thornaby (Teesside) (sawn-off shotgun), and Sighthill (Glasgow) (handgun and bullets; two men and a woman were arrested)
ï· Two men were arrested when a handgun was found at a home in Alvaston (Derby). In Liverpool a teenager was arrested in Norris Green after a sawn-off shotgun was found, and a man and a woman were arrested after a pistol was discovered in Stockbridge Village. A man was arrested at his home in Newport (Pembrokeshire) after police found an alleged stolen shotgun.
ï· A teenage girl testing a metal detector found a handgun in woods in Derby.
ï· Guns were stolen from properties in Tardebigge (Worcestershire) (shotgun), Chittlehampton (Devon) (air rifle) and Far Forest (Worcestershire) (airgun).

Incidents Involving Animals

Cats were again targeted in a number of shootings during January - they were shot with airgun pellets in Cardiff, Conwy, Essex, Lincolnshire, Mid Glamorgan and Warwickshire, and another cat was shot in Surrey but the weapon used has not been identified.
ï· A racing pigeon was shot and killed with an air rifle in Lidlington (Bedfordshire) and seven geese and two ducks were shot dead, probably with an air rifle, in
Todmorden (West Yorkshire).
ï· A teenager who shot down seagulls in Peebles has admitted recklessly discharging an air rifle.

Inquests

A verdict of suicide was recorded at the inquest into the death of a 17-year-old found with a shotgun near his body in the family garden in Cheriton Bishop (Devon). An inquest heard that a pensioner shot himself in the head in his garden in Frodsham (Cheshire) and a verdict of suicide was also recorded. A coroner recorded a verdict that a man from Mobberley (Cheshire) took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed after he shot himself with a shotgun at his home.

Convictions

A man from Nordelph (Norfolk) who shot two of his neighbours with a shotgun following a feud over their dog was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to cause serious harm and was jailed for 18 years.
ï· Five men involved in a drive-by shooting in Mile East (east London) have been convicted of various offences including, in one case, attempted murder - they will
serve sentences of between 4 years and a minimum of 12 years.
ï· A man who fired his licensed shotgun into the ceiling of his ex-girlfriend's home in Navenby (Lincolnshire) admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage and was jailed for 4 years.
ï· A man from Lydbrook (Gloucestershire) who shot himself in the arm whilst he was drunk and depressed with a handgun he had made himself admitted
manufacturing a prohibited weapon, possessing the weapon and possessing a round of hollow point exploding ammunition - he was given a 3 year 4 month
sentence.
ï· Following an incident in which shots were fired at a house in Fulwood (Lancashire) a man has been sentenced to 5 years after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
ï· A man who threatened a man with a rifle at his flat in Wheatley (South Yorkshire) has been jailed for more than 3 years.
ï· The following cases involved firearms being used in robberies - in some cases it was not clear whether the gun was real or an imitation. o A man who admitted carrying out a raid on a post office in Torygle(Glasgow) with a firearm or imitation gun has been jailed for 4 years. o Another offender has pleaded guilty to robbing a shop in Kessingland (Suffolk) where a gun was said to have been brandished. o Two brothers who were part of a gang who raided a post office in Owston (Lincolnshire) armed with sawn-off shotguns pleaded guilty and were jailed for 17 years and 4 years 8 months. o Two young men have both admitted two robbery charges after robbing two men at gunpoint in Cirencester(Gloucestershire) and have been sentenced to 4 years. o A gang who used pistols, Tasers and machetes in a number of raids across East Anglia have been convicted.

There were the following convictions for possessing firearms and/or ammunition:

o On Merseyside a man pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life and been jailed for 6 years (the loaded pistol was found during a routine stop check), a teenager who dumped a handgun during a police raid at his home in Wavertree admitted possessing the firearm and ammunition and was given a 5-year custodial sentence, a man found with a sawn-off shotgun at his home in Belle Vale pleaded guilty to possessing a Section 1 firearm was jailed for 3 years and 4 months, and another man has admitted having a sawn-off shotgun at his mother's house in Huyton and is serving a 6½-year sentence. o There were a number of convictions of offenders from London. A man who hid a self-loading pistol and ammunition at his mother's home in Brixton has been jailed for 5½ years. Two men found with a pistol and ammunition whilst driving around Hackney have pleaded guilty to possession charges and were jailed for 7 and 5 years. Two other men arrested with a loaded handgun in Downham were found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and conspiracy to commit robbery - they had been involved in armed attacks in Welling and West Wickham. A 20-year-old from Maida Vale admitted possessing a prohibited firearm and ammunition without a firearm certificate after admitting concealing a modified handgun and four bullets at a block of flats. o In the West Midlands a man who barricaded himself in a flat in Allesley (Coventry) pleaded guilty to being in possession of a prohibited firearm and two counts of being in possession of ammunition without a licence and was jailed for 6½ years. A man has admitted possessing a pistol containing four bullets discovered at his house in Longford, and another offender who kept a sawn-off shotgun at his house in Blakenhall pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of a firearm and was given a 4-year sentence. o A man who kept an arsenal of guns and ammunition in his flat in Dartford (Kent) has been jailed for 5 years after admitting possessing a prohibited firearm, two charges of possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing a firearm without a certificate and two charges of possessing ammunition. o A boy has pleaded guilty to possessing a sawn-off shotgun and a single barrelled shotgun without a firearms certificate after the weapons were found at a house in Huddersfield (West Yorkshire). A man who had a 100- year-old gun at his home in Yeadon (Leeds) was found guilty of possessing a prohibited firearm and jailed for 2½ years. o A Bulgarian lorry driver found with an assault rifle,handgun and drugs in his vehicle at Dover (Kent) pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm and two drugs offences - another man also pleaded guilty to the same charges. o A man who shot himself in Harbottle (Northumberland) with a rifle belonging to his father pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm without a certificate. o A man who waved a wartime handgun at a group of teenagers in Linwood (Renfrewshire) admitted possessing the prohibited weapon without a firearms certificate and was ordered to carry out 400 hours of community service o A man who found a rifle cartridge on Dartmoor (Devon) pleaded guilty to possession of the rifle cartridge without holding a firearms certificate as well as drug offences and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work

Stun Guns

A man who admitted possessing a stun gun which was found at his home in Haigh (Greater Manchester) was given a community order with 200 hours unpaid work.
ï· A West Midlands man involved in a fraud trial also admitted possessing a stun gun found when police searched his home.
ï· A man from Dudley (West Midlands) found in possession of a stun gun and stolen cameras pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property and possessing a prohibited weapon - he was given a suspended 12-week jail term and ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Airguns and Imitation Guns (Court Cases)

A teenager from Sheffield who shot a taxi driver in the head with pellets from a ball bearing gun pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.


The following cases involved the use of airguns and imitation guns to threaten:

o A man who was drunk when he fired a ball bearing gun at a hospital in Leeds admitted possessing an imitation firearm and was given a suspended 9-month prison sentence and a condition of undergoing an alcohol treatment programme o A man who pulled the trigger of a ball-bearing gun while aiming it at a group of men in Brighouse (West Yorkshire) has admitted possessing an imitation firearm and been sentenced to 21 months.
o Two men pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm to cause fear of violence and false imprisonment after a victim had been taken from a property in Leyland (Lancashire) - they were jailed for 2 years 6 months and 3 years 10 months. o A man who pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm, a gas-powered air rifle, without the correct licence has pleaded not guilty to possession a firearm with intent to cause another man fear of violence following an incident near Wonford (Devon) o A woman who went round to the home of her cleaner in Witham (Essex) brandishing a BB gun pleaded guilty to affray and was given a conditional discharge o A 15-year-old pointed an air rifle at a father who went to reclaim his son's stolen bike in Allenton (Derby) - he admitted possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and other offences and has been given a 2-year detention and training order o In spite of admitting possessing an imitation firearm with intent after thrusting a ball-bearing gun into another man's face in Oxford, a man was given an absolute discharge by the judge.

ï· There were a number of convictions for robberies and attempted robberies in which the offender(s) was armed with an imitation firearm. The incidents occurred: o at Shops in Portsmouth (a man who was armed with a fake handgun pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm), St Leonards (East Sussex) (a 17-year-old who used a fake gun during a raid has been jailed for more than 2 years), and Hamilton (South Lanarkshire) (a member of staff was struck by a pellet from an imitation pistol - the offender has been jailed for 3 years) o at a Bookmakerâ€s in Acocks Green (Birmingham) (a man has been sentenced to 9 years for charges of robbery, attempted robbery,
possession of a machete and an imitation firearm) o at a Bank in Rye (East Sussex) (a man pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm and was jailed for 2 years) o in a Car in Leicester (two teenagers armed with an air pistol who attacked and robbed three friends eating a takeaway admitted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and were both sentenced to 3 years and 4 months) o in a Street robbery in Enfield (north London) in which three young offenders attempted to steal money during a bogus car sale (they admitted kidnap, robbery and possession of an imitation firearm and one of them was jailed for 7 years and the other two for 6 years and 2 months.
ï· A man who pretended to have a shotgun whilst using a vacuum cleaner attachment pleaded guilty to raiding three bookmakers in Liverpool.
ï· A man found with a BB gun and a crossbow at his home in Accrington (Lancashire) has been convicted of drug offences and jailed for 18 years

Gun Deaths in 2010On the basis of the media reports there were 58 gun homicides in Great Britain in 2010, nearly half of them in London (see below). The number of deaths was higher than in the previous two years, although this does include the 12 deaths perpetrated by a lone gunman in Cumbria in June. The case following another fatal shooting collapsed when self-defence could not be ruled out.

There was a worrying increase in the number of fatal shooting victims in London, 27 compared with 17 in 2009. The 12 victims in Cumbria were all killed by
Derrick Bird. Four people were shot dead in Scotland and 4 were killed in Merseyside, including one of manslaughter, 3 in the West Midlands, including
another manslaughter victim, and there was one fatal shooting in each of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Tyneside and Wales. Eight of the victims were female, three killed in the Cumbria shootings. Two of the other victims were apparently shot by their partner, who also killed himself, and two more may also have died in domestic incidents. The other female victim was a teenager who was hit when shots were apparently fired at a youth in Hackney. One man was killed with his own shotgun by his wife who then committed suicide by another means.

One of the fatalities resulted from an armed robbery – the victim died four weeks after being shot at a house on Merseyside in August. Eight victims were teenagers. Seven died in London, the other was shot dead whilst playing with a gun on Merseyside: a friend was convicted of manslaughter.

The majority of the victims were aged between 20 and 40, 19 in their twenties and 16 in their thirties. Of the 11 victims over 50, 9 died in the Cumbria shootings and one was killed in a domestic incident. One man was shot and killed by armed police officers in West Yorkshire: an unarmed officer had been shot and injured before a siege which ended in the fatal shooting.

We are aware of 38 shooting deaths during 2010 that were apparently selfinflicted. Six of the deaths were of teenagers. In the majority of incidents a shotgun was used. In six instances, including the deaths of Derrick Bird and Raoul Moat, the person had also shot at least one other victim, in four cases fatally.

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